The Pentagon failed in its efforts to protect troops in Iraq, according to an investigation by Peter Eisler, Blake Morrison and Tom Vanden Brook of USA TODAY. The Pentagon has known for years that Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles could save lives for soldiers on patrol and in combat, but ignored appeals for such vehicles. USA TODAY found that the first requests for MRAPs came from Marines in December 2003. It was not until two months ago that the Pentagon finally backed supplying MRAPs for U.S. troops with thousands on order at a cost of nearly $2.4 billion. Some officials blame delays on adopting the MRAP for troop use on the belief that the war would not last this long.